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From de- + stem of consecrate.


  • IPA(key): /ˈdɛs.ɪ.kɹeɪ̯t/, /ˈdɛs.ə.kɹeɪ̯t/
  • (file)
  • (file)


desecrate (third-person singular simple present desecrates, present participle desecrating, simple past and past participle desecrated)

  1. (transitive) To profane or violate the sacredness or sanctity of something.
    • 1916, James Whitcomb Riley, The Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley[1], volume 10:
      It's reform -- reform! You're going to 'turn over a new leaf,' and all that, and sign the pledge, and quit cigars, and go to work, and pay your debts, and gravitate back into Sunday-school, where you can make love to the preacher's daughter under the guise of religion, and desecrate the sanctity of the innermost pale of the church by confessions at Class of your 'thorough conversion'!
    • 1984, Quorthon (lyrics and music), “Necromansy”:
      Tonight nothing is too sacred, we desecrate and live in sin
  2. (transitive) To remove the consecration from someone or something; to deconsecrate.
  3. (transitive) To change in an inappropriate and destructive manner.
    • 1913, William Alexander Lambeth, Warren H. Manning, Thomas Jefferson as an Architect and a Designer of Landscapes.[2]:
      A subsequent owner has desecrated the main hall and robbed it of its grandeur by putting in a floor just beneath the circular windows in order to make an upper room over the hall.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[3]:
      Everything a living animal could do to destroy and to desecrate bed and walls had been done. […] A canister of flour from the kitchen had been thrown at the looking-glass and lay like trampled snow over the remains of a decent blue suit with the lining ripped out which lay on top of the ruin of a plastic wardrobe.


Related terms[edit]


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desecrate (comparative more desecrate, superlative most desecrate)

  1. (rare) Desecrated.
    • 1842, Edgar Allan Poe, The Myster of Marie Rogêt:
      Here are the very nooks where the unwashed most abound—here are the temples most desecrate.